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Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service issues warning as school holidays begin

Posted by Ellie Watson on 29 July 2022

In recent weeks Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service have attended an unprecedented number of fires in the open, both deliberate and accidental. As the school holidays began this week, the Service is warning parents and young people to take care in open spaces.

Every year Nottinghamshire experiences an increase in grass and undergrowth fires in the dyer months. This year has already seen an exceptional increase in calls. The Fire and Rescue Service has been called to 617 grassfires since April 2022. This is 271 more than the same period in 2021.

Between January and March 2022, the Service attended 109 grassfire calls.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Mick Sharman says "As the school holidays start, we urge parents to speak to your children around the importance of outdoor safety. Grassfires are often caused by deliberate acts or carelessness.

"Why not take a picnic instead of a barbeque? Remember that abandoned glass bottles and cigarettes can ignite vegetation, so take your rubbish home with you. Always obey the local signage in parks, and call 999 if you see a fire or someone in trouble.

"We do take these fires very seriously. They can quickly spread and require a lot of resources and time to extinguish, taking us away from other emergencies."

Water safety is also important to remember as young people spend more time outside.

Becky Casterton, Education Manager for the Service, said "we know that young people often spend time around water in warmer weather. The safest place to swim is at organised and lifeguarded venues. Open water swimming sessions are held across Nottinghamshire, please check the Outdoor Swimming society for a list of venues.

"Please do not enter the water when no lifeguard is present and if you find yourself in the water follow the advice from the RNLI ‘Float to live’, if you see someone in trouble in the water call 999 and give their location,

"What3Words is a free to download application which will give your location to assist emergency services.

"Cold water shock is a real risk, even if its warm outside. Keep yourself, your friends and your family safe this holiday."

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